New ‘StarStruck’ tilt should be the best edition ever

/ 11:10 PM April 26, 2015

The latest “StarStruck” talent search has been launched by GMA 7, so it should do this year’s prospective contestants a lot of good to look back at past batches of finalists, and see where previous editions of the tilt have brought them:

 MARK Herras is one of its biggest  graduates.

MARK Herras is one of its biggest graduates.

It turns out, upon detailed review, that the most productive “StarStruck” edition, in terms of long-term stellar careers launched and sustained was the very first competition, which produced winners Mark Herras and


Jennylyn Mercado, who are still performing regularly today, a full decade after they made their initial mark. In addition, finalists Cristine Reyes and Yasmien Kurdi, are also very much around—not bad at all!

As for Batch 2, the winners were Mike Tan and Ryza Cenon, who haven’t been as plucky or lucky. But finalists LJ Reyes and Megan Young (Miss World) haven’t done too badly!

Batch 3 had Jackie Rice and the late Marky Cielo as winners, and Jackie top-bills drama series once in a while (Iwa Moto is also an occasional performer). All told, however, their batch hasn’t exactly made waves.

JENNYLYN Mercado is a product of the show’s first season.

JENNYLYN Mercado is a product of the show’s first season.

What about Batch 4? Male winner Aljur Abrenica has had a fairly good career, but his female counterpart, Jewel Mische, has not shone as dazzlingly as her first name promised.

Another finalist, Kris Bernal, plays lead roles on drama series, while Mart Escudero won praise for his indie film portrayals some years ago. Oh, and Paulo Avelino is one of the stars of the popular teleserye, “Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon,” and has also done well in indie movie projects.

As for Batch 5, female winner Sarah Lahbati has gone on to star on shows and series—and to co-parent a lovely baby boy, Zion, with Richard Gutierrez. Unfortunately, her male counterpart, Steven Silva, hasn’t fared well. However, finalists Rocco Nacino and Enzo Pineda have had good careers, and Nacino has even been cited for his male lead portrayal in the “Bayan Ko” “political drama” series. As for Sef Cadayona, he’s busy as a “supporting comedian” who often plays gay roles.

Summing up: In terms of abiding star value, past editions of “StarStruck” have produced Mark Herras, Jennylyn Mercado, Aljur Abrenica, Kris Bernal, Sarah Lahbati, Yasmien Kurdi, Cristine Reyes, LJ Reyes, Megan Young, Jackie Rice, Mart Ecudero, Paulo Avelino, Enzo Pineda and Rocco Nacino (plus Sef Cadayona, Rich Asuncion, and Iwa Moto). That’s around 14 or 18 out of 70 finalists—or one out of five (20 percent). Not a fantastic cumulative achievement, but nothing to be sneezed at, either.

Still, the tilt could do (much) better this time around, if it learned from the past and chose its next batch of finalists carefully and smartly, with their promise of long-range (not flash-in-the-room) stardom clearly in mind.

All too often, finalists have been chosen due to their handlers’ having the right biz connections and contacts, “favors” being asked for and given, and other subjective considerations.


This time around, GMA executives should make sure that real stellar promise is the key consideration, so that Batch 6’s 14 finalists will be a truly dazzling lot. The goal this time should be for fully half of the bets to impress the socks off viewers and voters so that they’ll end up as potential stars of 2015—and after!

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TAGS: Artista Search, Entertainment, GMA-7, Reality Shows, Starstruck, Television
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